As a Bulls fan, a Jimmy Butler trade always felt inevitable with the team seemingly stalled in the NBA’s middle class. But that doesn’t make it any easier. I’m happy for Butler, though. He’s going back to former Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau and he’s going to get to run with Andrew Wiggins, Karl Anthony Towns, and Ricky Rubio (if he doesn’t get traded). Basketball player Jimmy Butler is going to be just fine. But what about marine life enthusiast Jimmy Butler?
If you didn’t know, Jimmy Butler loves fish so much that he put a 6,000-pound music playing aquarium that looks like a boombox into the entryway of his $4.3 million Chicago-land condo in 2015. To tackle the installation and the construction, Butler worked with Wayde King and Brett Raymer of Acrylic Tank Manufacturing (ATM) for their Animal Planet show, Tanked (which airs Fridays at 10PM).
That’s an ironic title considering the Bulls future prospects, but not an amusingly ironic one if you’re a Bulls fan.
What happens to that unique aquarium/mega-boombox now that Butler is headed out of town? This has been on my mind since the Butler trade was announced because coping mechanisms are great, and Raymer tells Uproxx that Butler has a few options.
“He can sell it with the apartment. Then somebody has a piece of history. It’s pretty classic. And then we can go back and get Jimmy a new one. Something totally different. Or we can actually take it out as an episode and re-install it back in his new place. Or Jimmy can sell it.”
Getting the aquarium set up in Butler’s condo was a complex operation and taking it out would be more complicated due to the live fish that would need to be removed and safely stored, but Raymer says that, if they got the aquarium in, they can get it out.
King and Raymer are no strangers to these kinds of situations. New Charlotte Hornets Center Dwight Howard is a client. The ATM team built him an aquarium when he played for the Houston Rockets, but after Howard went to the Atlanta Hawks, that aquarium got sold and ATM was in the process of building him another one for his Houston residence, according to Raymer. But the ultimate home for that may now be up in the air now with Howard’s latest team swap.
Circling back to the fish and Butler, his current setup had a few nods to the Bulls when it was constructed. The ATM guys put in 50 fish to commemorate the Bulls’ 50th anniversary and they added a Jordan tuskfish to the tank to pay tribute to Michael Jordan. With Butler no longer repping the Bulls, though, you have to imagine he’s going to send the Jordan fish to go live with Washington Wizards star and fellow ATM client John Wall (for the fish’s good, but maybe not as spectacular later years) and honor his new team.
How can the ATM guys Minnesotaize Butler’s next aquarium layout? Maybe a switch from salt water to fresh water so Butler’s new fish can purify themselves in the waters of Lake Minnetonka? Some Garnett stones at the bottom of the tank? Anything is possible (sorry not sorry), but Raymer says he’s thinking claws and a Timberwolf theme when I put him on the spot before I suggest starfish in the name of Stephon “Starbury” Marbury as a freebie.
Whatever Butler ultimately decides (and you gotta figure this is down on his list of concerns right now), you have to figure that, based on his current aquarium and his relationship with the Tanked guys, it’ll be awesome and fun to watch. Unlike the 2017-2018 Chicago Bulls.